Saturday, January 31, 2009

In praise of Lulu (and me)

Yesterday was a very good day for my self-esteem. Despite the fact that I had been feeling discouraged all week, in terms of body image it was probably the best. day. ever.

For the first time since November, I had a really hard time with my points this week. When I weighed myself on Monday I had just missed the cutoff for the next point level by a couple of ounces. And yet, no matter what I did or didn't eat, I could not go a day without dipping into my flex points. I started thinking about implementing phase two of my healthy self plan: the notorious 30 Day Shred. But I wasn't feeling motivated about that or anything else about my body (cue: eat another cookie).

(Um, yeah. Even at 2 points each, the cookies and extra coffee really add up.)

So yesterday I went into the city to meet my sister, who had promised to initiate me in to the world of Lululemon.

Our phone conversations for the past few weeks have gone like this: "Do you have crops or full-length pants?" "Both." "Which ones?" "I don't know. They are very comfortable." "But are they Boogies? Or Groovies? I'm on the website now." "I don't know. And anyway, you have to try them on and see which ones fit best."

She was so right. In the store, I filled my arms with crops and pants and a variety of tank tops (all made of the same scary, stretchy material) and signed into a dressing room. I did what I usually do and brought all the sizes I thought I might be into the room with me. Then I picked the smaller size of a pair of crops and a tank top and tried them on.

The top looked incredible. I can't even tell you. The pants fit a bit funny, especially in the length, but the shirt looked amazing. I looked amazing in the shirt. This almost skin-tight yet amazingly well tailored tank top.

"Look at this shirt!" I gasped. "I don't care how much it costs. I am so getting this shirt."

I tried on another pair of pants. Meh. Then another pair of crops with a purple waistband. And a purple tank top. I stepped out of the dressing room and caught sight of myself in the full length mirror.

I looked stunning. My body was sleek and slender, still curvy but well proportioned and, well, beautiful.

For someone who has been struggling with body image, there was something so affirming about that moment.

I had made the decision to focus on living the way I wanted, but in a more healthy way. And there, looking back at me from the mirror, was evidence of my success. In those Lululemon workout clothes, I finally looked on the outside like the person I felt I was on the inside.

Now I understand the power of well-designed and tailored clothes that actual fit your body. For this feeling of pride and confidence, it is worth the price.

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